Benign Interpretitis

My friend Mark Boughner just blogged about his hesitancy to seek medical attention although good counsel eventually convinced him of the wisdom in doing so.  This type of reluctance to seek medical assistance is definitely a guy thing.  I know I have to be bleeding out of every orifice of my body before I can be convinced that a trip to the doc is in order.  Wonder why we’re like that.  In my life I’ve found that I’m just about the polar opposite of a hypochondriac.  Long ago I learned of my propensity to simply shy away from any thought that something could be amiss.  I even invented a term to describe it and now realize that bunches of us, especially us guys, suffer from it.  I call it “benign interpretitis.”  It simply refers to the fact that if something, anything really, can be either good or bad, we will typically opt for considering or interpreting the symptoms as non-malevolent, or benign, for some reason not clearly understood.  There are a number of possibilities.  It could be that we’re simply on the edge of consciousness when the circumstances are presented to us, i.e., guys are typically oblivious to reality.  (A case in point was me when I entered my second marriage.  I was simply in a state of la-la land.  There was just no way it was going to work and trusted advisors were not able to penetrate my brain with a reality check.)  Another possibile explanation for benign interpretitis is that we simply choose the path of least resistance because tending to the symptoms would require effort.  (Effort is closely akin to work which is difficult.  If work were not so difficult more people would give it a try!)  Or it may be that there is an element of fear attached to having to confront the ominous symptoms.  It is just easier to dismiss them and hope they will go away.  Then there is experience.  Many times the symptoms experienced in similar circumstances were in fact not the harbinger of imminent catastrophe   So we rely on the experience of the past to provide a rationale for ignoring the symptoms in the instant situation.  There are other possible reasons for benign interpretitis and you could rattle them off with little difficulty.  But, much better I believe to pay close heed to symptoms and truly seek wisdom, from a reliable  source, like the good friend who spoke truth to Mark Boughner.  I personally believe the biblical statement: “the truth will set you free,” has far greater application than merely with regard to one’s salvation.  That is the most important one , however, being the area where benign interpretitis can have disastrous consequences with eternal implications.  The lesson here for Christians is that we should always be on the alert to speak the truth in love to non-believers — and to speak it convincingly — realizing the precariousness of their lives without the Savior.  RMF

About ronfurg

Former naval officer, federal investigator, forensic scientist, senior executive service member and pastor. In retirement serves as volunteer and life group leader at New Life Christian Church ( Devoted to beautiful wife, kids and grandkids. Looking forward to the time when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
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1 Response to Benign Interpretitis

  1. Duck Waddell says:


    A handsome and provocative blog. Good work. With regard to “benign interpretitis,” when I had my recent “situation” there was no doubt that I was in trouble and dialing 911 was reflexive.

    Had a friend of mine (Air Force Cross winner) who was driving along in Destin, FL with his wife and said cooly “I think I am having a stroke, you better drive.” They switched places and made it to the hospital for several weeks on a respirator and a long recovery. Cisco was the consummate fighter pilot and under stress reverted to his training. 1. Maintain aircraft control 2. Analyze the situation and take proper action. 3. Land as soon as practical. Cheers. Love to Shirley.

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